One of the common diseases known to man is Diabetes and nearly 62 million from India suffer from it. In order to increase a patient's life span and maintain blood glucose level, the patient has to manually regulate the insulin levels via injections. However, with the developments in the field of nanotechnology, scientists have been able to create a nano pump which will constantly monitor the blood glucose level and automatically supply the insulin whenever necessary. While this procedure originally cost more than 1.5 crores in the U.S. and Europe, through constant research and development, the procedure is now available to patients in India even for less than 50 lakhs.
"I believe Nanotechnology will user in a new Industrial Revolution and will change the way we look at our future," says Dr. V. Rajendran, Director of Center for Nano Sciences and Technology and Director of Research and Development at KSR Group of Institutions. Realizing the growing importance of nanotechnology in the world today, with constant support and encouragement of Dr. K S Rangasamy, Chairman, R Srinivasan, Managing Trustee of KSR Group of Institutions, Dr. K Thyagarajah Principal, established the Center for Nano Sciences and Technology in 2008. The center was built with the aim to cater to the academic and industrial needs in collaboration with a wide range of national and international universities, research centers and industries both from India and abroad. The Center offers postgraduate M.Tech course in Nano Science and Technology in addition to the M.S./Ph.D. programs. The institution has also started a B.Tech course in Nano Science and Technology this academic year; has ensured that the students can gain hand-on experience by utilizing cutting edge technologies Nano technology applications.
The Center has utilized these facilities to complete 7 major and 12 minor projects successfully given to them by organizations such as the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Defense Research Development Organization (DRDO), Board of Research in Nuclear Sciences (BRNS), Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), and others. The center also concentrates on different broad areas of research in nanotechnology namely, the production of nanometal oxides, nano biomaterials, nanotextiles and other applications. It is important to note that the center has filed 14 patents in nano metal oxides from natural minerals, nano silica from rice husk, nano particles in energy and food preservative application and nano particles from herbal plants for various industrial applications.
"We allow research scholars to utilize the facilities to become eminent researchers in the fields of developing high energy materials, green energy technologies, defense applications and a variety of other emerging areas," says Dr. Rajendran. In order to provide hands on experience, the M.Tech students are guided by 15 research scholars in their respective area of interest. The Center also has the hope to integrate the newly joined B.Tech students into the research process to provide rich and real practical insight. However, in order to gain proper insights, students require faculty members who have expertise and experienced in the field of nanotechnology to teach the fundamentals and basics of the course. The Center has recruited good number of faculty members who have had an interdisciplinary teaching background and also a small but strong set of faculty members who possess PhDs in the field of nanotechnology.
Due to the institution's Autonomous status, the Center of Nano Sciences and Technology has been given full freedom by the management to invite scientists or professors who are well versed in nanotechnology to join them as adjunct or visiting faculty members. Going a step further, the Center has also signed MoU's with leading research institutes in India and foreign countries like Germany, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, UK, south Africa,Australia and USA for joint collaborative research work and faculty exchange programs.
"We believe that the industry should understand the importance of Nanotechnology and also should invest time in it. Therefore, we have signed MoU's with multinational companies such as Mintek, Elton and others who have shown interest in the same," says Dr. Rajendran. Due to this very reason, the Center has conducted three international conferences, three national symposia and number of workshops, where over 5 Nobel Laureates have visited and delivered world class lectures and speeches. Some of these Nobel Laureates are Prof. Dr. Peter Gruenberg in Physics (Germany, 2007), Prof. Dr. Richard R. Ernst in Chemistry (Switzerland, 1991), Prof. Dr. Hartmut Michel in Chemistry (Germany. 1988), Prof. Dr. Ivar Giaever in Physics (Norway, 1973).
The Road Ahead
"While 20 percent of students prefer to pursue Research careers and gain PhDs in India and other countries like Singapore, South Korea and others, as an ambition , we wanted to increase the percentage towards the higher side , further by organizing students\' visits to various nanotechnology labs all over the world," says Dr. Rajendran. The Center of Nano Science and Technology plans to increase their tie-ups with the industries in India and Abroad also. More than 30 percent of its students are getting placed with MNCs.
The institute is very keen to increase the number of adjunct and visiting professors who possess high quality nanotechnology knowledge which will further enhance the quality of knowledge transferred to the students. "While we hope to achieve these plans, as our priority is to create highly knowledgeable graduates who will help change the world for the betterment and Prosperity of mankind," concludes Dr. Rajendran.
He is currently heading as The Director of the Center of Nano Sciences and Technology. He is the Director for Research and Development for the KSR Group of Institutions. He has over 20 years of experience both in teaching and research, in the field of material science and nanotechnology. Under his able guidance, 16 doctoral scholars have been awarded with PhDs and 11 are still pursuing their research for PhD. He has associated with research work with different organizations such as Department of Science and Technology (DST), Defense Research Development Organization (DRDO), BRNS , UGC-DAE and others.